It’s a question every mom has at one point or another: how to know when you’re done having babies?
It’s definitely not an easy decision to make. Do I want to have one more? Should I try for a girl/boy? Is our family complete??
Not only are you and your partner probably asking all these questions, but often your friends and family are asking them too. Sometimes it can be a really difficult decision.
In this article, I’m sharing 10 sure signs to help you decide one way or another. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- You’re relieved not to be pregnant anymore.
- Another pregnancy would be hard on your body.
- You don’t have a large parenting support system.
- You want your body back.
- You’re relieved not to be in the baby stage any more.
- You’re emotionally tapped out.
- You start giving away your baby stuff.
- You start researching vasectomies and long-term birth control methods.
- Milestones are exciting, not sad.
- Your family feels complete.
Ready to dive in?
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How to Know When You’re Done Having Babies: 10 Sure Signs
1. You’re relieved not to be pregnant anymore.
This is an early sign to use to help you figure out how to know when you’re done having babies. When you are D-O-N-E being pregnant.
You don’t want to deal with the swollen feet, big belly, aches, pains, sleepless nights… You are ready to be done with it all.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you didn’t love your pregnancies. I definitely did.
But after 3 of them, I was more than ready to have my body all to myself. Here are a few more signs you’re done being pregnant.
Every time you see someone pregnant it just makes you tired.
Before child number 3, seeing someone pregnant made me kind of wistful. I would remember my own pregnancies and the beauty and awe of having that little person growing inside of me.
These days… I’m just glad it isn’t me. Whenever I see those pregnant bellies now, all I remember is the aching back and hips, being ridiculously uncomfortable all the time, and getting exhausted just trying to pick up my living room.
If you’re feeling the same, you’re probably over being pregnant again too.
You freak out when your period is late.
If you feel mild panic when your period is a day or so late, then you’re definitely done being pregnant. Since deciding to be done having kids, I almost obsessively track my monthly cycle.
I want to know what day that sucker is coming, if it’s off by a day or two, and whether my PMS symptoms are showing up when they’re supposed to.
This is serious business these days lol.
You wake up sweating from pregnancy dreams.
Another good way to know that you’re done being pregnant is if pregnancy dreams freak you out. I’ve had a handful since I decided I was done having kids and they always make me nervous.
I start wondering if my body is trying to tell me something. And even in my dreams, I freak out a little bit at the idea of being pregnant again.
2. Another pregnancy would be hard on your body.
Another good piece of information for how to know when you’re done having babies is if another pregnancy would be hard for you. As beautiful as pregnancy can be, sometimes it’s very hard on our bodies.
It takes a definite toll on our health sometimes. With my first pregnancy, I developed high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
I ended up giving birth a month early and had to be on high blood pressure meds for a couple of months afterward too.
Everything worked out in the end, but at the time it was a little scary. Especially during my first pregnancy.
For some women, going through another pregnancy is super risky and just not safe. That’s usually a pretty good sign that it’s time to move on to another stage of life.
3. You don’t have a large parenting support system.
Another factor to weigh in to help you decide if you want more kids is to look at your parenting support system. How much help do you have raising your kids?
I know a lot of moms like to think that we have to do it all by ourselves, but the reality is that raising kids is a ton of work. It’s so much easier with a strong support system.
This definitely plays a factor in my decision to be done having kids. My parenting support system is pretty tiny. None of our family lives close to us.
I have some friends, but they all have a bunch of kids of their own. My husband also works out of town often.
This means, that the bulk of the daily childrearing falls on my shoulders. All of the feeding, napping, diapers, soccer practice, school work, social skills, etc is up to me.
Adding an extra child to that would be pretty difficult for me and that’s something I have come to terms with.
4. You want your body back.
Another sure sign on how to know when you’re done having babies is that you want your body back. No more pregnancies, breastfeeding, or being touched All. The. Time.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding are definitely some of the highlights of my life and my journey through parenting. But they have also taken a toll on my body.
I have loaned my body out to someone else off and on for 9 years. I am ready to take it back and keep it.
My body has done some amazing things, but it’s time for me to be able to have control over it again. If you’re feeling the same way, it’s a good sign you’re done having kids too.
5. You’re relieved not to be in the baby stage anymore.
Another clear sign you’re done having kids is that you are happy not to be in the baby stage. You are ready and eager to say goodbye to diapers, sleepless nights, and all the crying.
All of my kids are 3-1/2 years apart. This means that right around 2-1/2 years old, baby fever hits, and I’m ready to do it all over again.
But not this time! I took a second to look back, and I realized that I have been in the same 3-year cycle over and over again. It’s like Groundhog Day except for its 3 years long.
I’m ready to move on. I am ready to sleep through the night. I’m ready to take my kids to the park and actually sit and talk with friends. I’m ready to be out of diapers and naptimes.
I want to take my family out to eat and not have to worry about whether or not the baby is up for sitting still long enough for me to finish my food. I have been doing the same thing for 9 years. It’s time to move forward.
If you’re feeling the same way, you’re probably done too.
You miss being alone with your husband.
Another way to tell you’re done with the baby stage is that you miss being alone with your husband. Babies don’t leave many opportunities for one-on-one time with… well anyone. Husbands included.
The first few months, it’s a 24/7 job just keeping them alive. That doesn’t offer much opportunity for connecting and getting some quality time with your significant other.
But most of the time, when having more kids is on the agenda, you don’t notice it so much. When you’re done, however, you really start to look forward to that kid-free time together.
You’re ready to easily travel or go on vacation.
I can count on one hand the number of vacations we’ve been on since we had kids. Mostly because it’s hard enough to travel with kids, but it’s usually not even worth the effort when they’re young.
You have to bring so much extra stuff it gets a little ridiculous. I vividly remember taking a road trip to visit my in-laws when my oldest was 5 months old.
I was freaking out because I knew we didn’t have room to take her baby swing, but at the time that was the only way she napped. We had already packed a ton of clothes, the boppy, bottles, toys, and almost everything else we owned for her.
It was a long weekend of her refusing to sleep and I was never so happy to get home again. It was enough to keep us from traveling for the next year or so.
Traveling is definitely higher on the list of things I actually want to do, now that we’re done having kids.
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6. You’re emotionally worn out.
Something else to think about on how to know when you’re done having babies is how you feel. Having kids requires a lot from us moms.
Despite how much we love them, emotionally it can be really tough. And that only gets worse the more kids you have.
More kids means more people to worry about, more people talking to you non-stop, and more times you have to yell at someone because there is water all over the floor despite you having told them 25,897 times to stop playing with the ice maker.
At some point you hit a max at what you feel like you can emotionally handle without feeling like you might go a little crazy. And I’m here to tell you, from one mom to another.
It really is. We’re not all built to handle a house full of children with a blissful smile on our face.
When you feel like one more child might officially tip you into Crazytown, odds are pretty good you’re done having kids.
You can’t handle any more people depending on you to meet their needs.
Part of being emotionally tapped out means that you can’t handle anyone else constantly needing something from you. This is probably one of the biggest reasons I am ready to be done.
Dealing with 3 small people expecting me to solve all of their problems 24/7 is tough! Before I had kids I had vague ideas of having like 4-6 kids.
It turns out that 3 is about all I can handle and still keep my sanity right now.
Before I made peace with this decision, I would look at bigger families and worry that my desire to be done having kids meant I wasn’t as good a mom as other women who had more.
What I realized is that my personality, combined with my parenting style, means 3 is a good number for me. And that’s ok.
7. You start giving away your baby stuff.
Another good clue for figuring out how to know when you’re done having babies is that you’re giving away your baby stuff. This was another pretty clear sign for me.
I kept almost all of my baby stuff for years. I gave away NOTHING. I’m talking all the clothes, furniture, cloth diapers, bibs, towels, you name it.
In the back of my mind I thought I might need it again and I didn’t want to have to rebuy it. But after baby number 3, I couldn’t give it away fast enough.
I wasn’t even trying to sell it, even if it was in good condition. I was more than happy to give it all away to anyone I knew who might need it.
If your feeling the urge to drop it all off at the thrift store, you’re probably done having kids.
8. You start researching vasectomies and long-term birth control methods.
There are few signs more clear that you’re done having kids than when you start researching long-term methods of making sure you don’t get pregnant again.
If your husband catches you up late at night researching vasectomies or your asking your doctor what’s the longest form of birth control short of a hysterectomy, you’re probably done having kids.
9. Milestones are exciting, not sad.
Another sure sign you’re done having babies is that you’re excited about each new milestone. Rather than being sad that this stage is over.
This is definitely the case with me. Every little inch of independence and maturity my son develops, I’m doing cartwheels on the inside.
A lot of older moms will tell you how much you will “miss this stage.” And they might be right.
But there is always a little voice in my head that says “I’m ready to miss it!”
Even now when I look at old pictures of my kids when they were younger. The pictures are so sweet and I look at them fondly.
But I don’t wish I was in that place anymore. I’m ready to move on to see what our family is like when I’m not constantly sleep-deprived and chasing after a baby or toddler.
If that sounds familiar to you, you’re probably done having kids.
10. Your family feels complete.
The last sure sign to help with figuring out how to know when you’re done having babies is that your family feels complete. It feels whole.
After I had my second child, I wasn’t sure if I wanted more. I would go back and forth depending on the day.
One of the things that held me back from feeling done was that I felt like our family wasn’t whole. Like we had a child missing.
I would almost feel guilty the times that I would think I was done because it felt like we were meant for another one.
I can tell you right now, I haven’t felt that feeling once since the day my son was born lol. Our family feels complete and I no longer wonder about what more kids would be like.
I don’t imagine how I would handle four kids or what our family would look like with one more anymore. I feel like this is what is right for us and I am happy with it.
Final Thoughts on How to Know When You’re Done Having Babies
How to know when you’re done having babies is a very personal decision and it’s going to look very different from person to person. And that’s ok.
Spend some time asking yourself how you feel about the items on this list and take your time making this decision. I hope this list and my experiences help you get closer to figuring out what’s right for you.
What do you think about this list of how to know when you’re done having babies? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Candice is a mom of 3 who has been homeschooling since 2013. She has an A.A.S. in Early Childhood Studies and cares deeply about helping other parents get the information and resources they need to help them homeschool their children with confidence.